Geraint Thomas takes Volta ao Algarve lead by winning stage two
Last Updated: 19/02/15 6:53pm
Britain and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas took the lead of the Volta ao Algarve after winning stage two solo.
The 28-year-old Welshman attacked out of the peloton on the final climb of the day and then hung down the descent to the finish in Monchique to beat runner-up Rein Taaramae by 19 seconds and third-placed Valerio Agnoli by 23 seconds.
With bonus seconds taken into account, Thomas climbs to the top of the general classification and opens up gaps of 30 seconds over second-placed Taaramae and 33 seconds over third-placed Zdenek Stybar.
There were three Team Sky riders in the top 10 on the day, with Lars Petter Nordhaug finishing ninth and Salvatore Puccio 10th, while the British squad has Richie Porte in sixth overall.
Thomas told teamsky.com: “It was an amazing feeling crossing the line. I don’t get to win too often – especially not on my own – and it’s a great way to kick start my year."
The stage was decided on the category-three final climb of the day, which reached its summit with 5.4km to go. Taaramae was the first to attack, but Thomas followed and then powered past the Estonian as he claimed his first win of the season.
The five-day race continues on Friday with a 19km individual time trial from Vila do Bispo to Cabo de Sao Vicente.
Stage two result
1 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, 4:59:13
2 Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana, +19sec
3 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana, +23
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, same time
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
7 Alberto Losada (Esp) Katusha, st
8 Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha, st
9 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky, st
10 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky, st
1 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, 9:12:56
2 Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana, +30sec
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step, +33
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step, same time
5 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, st
6 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, st
7 Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha, st
8 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
9 Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha, st
10 Alberto Losada (Esp) Katusha, st